Elliott masie's Learning Systems Conference

Presentation to Elliott Masie’s Learning Systems Barracuda Bowl

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Elliott Masie is a force of nature – in a very good way.  My introduction to Elliott’s deep commitment to learning occurred while in attendance at the Learning 2015 conference last October.  Since then I consider myself part of his extended family in the space – a family that must encompass thousands of us who care passionately about learning, training and development.  

I was delighted to be asked to participate by Skype in the Elliott’s Learning Systems conference on April 27th as a “contestant” of the Barracuda Bowl.  Here are my remarks below.  PS Thanks to Doug Lynch for suggesting me and LearnBIG as a participant.

I love food, I’m a Seattle foodie. I love all media about food – books, shows, movies. A couple of years ago I was intrigued by an online molecular gastronomy food course and I signed right up. The trailer was awesome and I was so excited. And then I took the first module. For 35 minutes a lecturer talked at me and it concluded with a multiple choice.   I was so disappointed. It didn’t help me learn what I wanted or needed, and didn’t motivate me to go practice and apply. It was just plain boring and I felt I had wasted precious minutes in my day.

In talking about it with the LearnBIG team, all of whom had had similar experiences either with on the job training or on their own, we realized that the adult learner should be able to access compelling online training. That so much growth and learning for adults happens at work, and that organizations could be missing a huge opportunity for their workforce to thoughtfully and enjoyably consume, retain and use information.

We did some market research and here is what we found:

Individuals yearn for relevant, engaging, results oriented training, that upskills them so they can be more effective at their jobs, get a raise, a promotion, and companies are having a hard time conceptualizing, delivering and measuring authentic and exciting data driven learning solutions.

LearnBIG saw this and responded by re-imagining the status quo and fused together three elements to create online interactive, adaptive and captivating education and training. What are those three things?

  1. Intelligent instructional design using adult learning theory, brain science and the most recent research and best practices to achieve retention of information.
  2. Powerful storytelling alongside high video production values. Think consumer media, not powerpoint. Our production team comes from the world of television and documentaries – and it makes a difference for our learner.
  3. And we built a platform that facilitates experiential learning. People learn by doing and our technology provides frequent active, lean in, not passive learning, interactions, so that that folks can practice techniques and then immediately apply in the workplace.

And equally important, we’ve incorporated instrumentation and provided reporting so that leaders know what their employees know and can do. You can obtain great business insights – for instance, daylighting why the SE division is so much more knowledgeable and effective, or identifying gaps like in compliance, capability or company culture. Our adaptivity not only provides data to analyze, but through our instructional design also provides a “safe” learning environment, so that employees can feel good about trying and perhaps failing, and that they’ve been able to exercise a positive or growth mindset and open themselves up to feedback and growth.


We’ve worked with a diverse set of organizations: LearnBIG has collaborated with companies such as Microsoft, Accenture, Vulcan, Taser, Strayer University and HBO.   We’re together moving the needle in soft and hard skills from interviewing and sales coaching to operations and product training to even re-inventing college level courses for those who are employed full time.

Our clients use LearnBIG for impact with internal employee training and for educating their own customers, training on products, or on developmental skills like coaching or management. We have the ability to do highly customized courses, communicating your content, your culture – diffusing standardized methodologies and vocabulary – scaling as big and far as you need. At the end of the day, it’s software, it’s hosted in the cloud, and it can be scaled.

What’s our ease of use? Is your LMS SCORM-compliant, no problem – we can connect. Don’t have an LMS or don’t want to use it? Our platform can provide LMS-like features, allowing you to check data like participation, progress and completion rates using your own dashboard.

LearnBIG has also responded to two pressing training needs – we’ve built the beginnings of two libraries for subscription. First, Cybersecurity – it’s absolutely critical that every person at every level of your organization understands, retains and practices good cybersecurity fundamentals – to protect your company, its reputation and its customers. So we built just that – a four module cybersecurity fundamentals course that runs less than an hour. It’s unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

We also heard from companies big and small the desire for timely, fun, and pertinent leadership development courses. That library offers 7-10 minute modules in working with millennials, conflict resolution and managing for excellence.

You know if you have eLearning or Instructor Led Training that needs to be re-imagined, re-invigorated or entirely re-placed and re-done.

Here’s what I’d like you to take away: As I know well running my own small company, human beings are the pathway to a successful organization. When people feel supported, they are committed, and when they have the tools they need, to do their job well – that’s when goals and execution mesh and companies can accomplish great things.

by, Leslie Redd